If you are coming up to the time when you need to choose your GCSEs, you can feel under pressure. Don’t panic: intsead, read on for some tips to help you.

When choosing your subjects, you could pick subjects you are good at or those you enjoy. You might want to do subjects your friends are doing, or ones where you like the teacher. These are all good reasons to pick a subject, but they are not the only things to consider.

Look to the future

Think about what you might like to do at sixth form or college. And what sort of jobs might you enjoy? If you have an idea about the style of work you might like that will help you focus on which subjects you need.

Ask yourself if you would like to work outdoors or indoors, in a shop or office? Are you interested in a job using science or technology or art and design? If you have an idea of the sort of career you might like this can help you narrow down your choices.

Take a little time to explore careers sites, talk to your careers teacher, or contact colleges that offer the sort of training you might want to go onto to find out what GSCEs you will need.

You may need to have taken certain GCSEs in order to do particular subjects at A level. Look on the sixth form or college website to find out.

Think about how you like to learn before making a final choice. If you like lots of hands on and practical learning, some GSCEs have more of a practical element,

If you prefer to be hands on, find out about BTECs which can offer you an equivalent qualification where all your results are based on course assessment and there are no exams.

Process of elimination

Although the list of subjects on offer at your school may look long, in fact you will probably only have a small number of actual choices. You may only have three or four choices alongside compulsory subjects such as maths, English, science, a language and a humanity such as geography and history. When you rule out the subjects you don’t want to take you may find you have nearly made your choices.

Look at how your school allocates GCSE subjects too – you may have to choose subjects in different blocks which can limit your options and mean you need to trade off doing one subject for another.

If you have two or three options but only one space left try writing each subject down on a piece of paper. Pick up two at random and quickly think which one you would pick out of that pair. Keep doing this and you may find one subject keeps on being your preferred option.

Think about which subjects you will do well at if you have a couple of options both of which appeal. Look at previous year’s results and see whether this is a subject where people tend to do well.

Make sure your final list is balanced, so you have some traditional subjects as well as some that you enjoy.

And do ask your teachers for help and support if you need before making your final choices.

Want to know more about choosing your GSCEs? There are answers to 19 key questions about choosing your GSCEs in this article from Youth Employment UK, so it’s well worth a read.